Living in the Shadow of Amazon: Learn the Lessons

Photo courtesy: Amazon Amazon is the elephant in the room where any supply chain conversation is happening. Everyone is chasing that Amazon effect. Everyone is trying to figure out how to deliver on the expectations of customers that Amazon and its business models have created. Retrofitting Amazon’s strategies or tactics for another business is tough. In terms of order volume and order profile, Amazon is its own kind of beast. At the same time, it makes…

Threat of Robot Warehouse Invasion Overblown

In 2012, Amazon acquired Kiva Robots to use in the warehouse. During a couple of recent trade shows and conferences, I heard some intriguing presentations on how robots taking over warehouse worker jobs. By many accounts, venture capitalists are flocking to fund these companies. Naturally, I wanted to get a reality check from real end users and decision makers. I wanted to know, if they had decided to move to robotics, about the return on…

Bots May Be the Next Big Supply Chain Invasion

I ran into a bot for the very first time back in the year 2000. These computer programs ideally automate tasks normally handled by humans. For me, the bot streamlined a shopping task. At the time, it blew my mind. I was heading out on a business trip to the Netherlands, and I wanted to capture the trip in pictures with a new camera. My job was to support the rollout of a warehouse management…